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My top five most beautiful states ranked

I have been to 48 out of the 50 states. The only two that I have yet to see are North Dakota and Alaska, which of the two, I am sure Alaska would most likely crack at least the top ten most beautiful states. Be that as it may, I have seen a large enough part of the US to rank what I believe are the most beautiful.

I have been thinking about this list since my brother has taken a road trip to Yellowstone recently and since I have not gone virtually anywhere since COVID-19 started. This reminds me of all the wonderful places that I have seen throughout the years. I hope that you can make it to even one of these states in your lifetime.

1. Hawaii

We went to the island of Oahu on our honeymoon, and now I would love to go back year after year if I could. I figured it to be beautiful, and it did not disappoint. As we flew over the island, the first thing I noticed was crystal blue water that you might see in a postcard. Most of the highway is surrounded by the ocean and you can drive along rock bluffs, various types of palm trees, luscious green mountains, and quaint beach towns. Take in hikes through bamboo forests and find hidden waterfalls that empty into swimming ponds, or check out the historic Banyan trees, which can grow over several acres wide. I was surprised as the island seemed to have every type of topography - from beach to rainforest to even what appeared to be a desert-like region on top of Diamond Head State Monument. But this is only half of what Hawaii offers - there's another world full of beauty awaiting for you underneath the ocean that you can dive down or snorkel to discover.

It's the most beautiful place I've been to in the world, out of 48 states and six countries I've visited. And I've seen a lot of beautiful places. If you can go there, go. You will not regret it.

2. Arizona

I've been to Arizona three separate times and on each time I've been there, I keep wanting to go back. The Grand Canyon State offers more than just its state nickname, although I will say, seeing the Grand Canyon up close is much more breathtaking than seeing it in any picture. It's actually surrounded by several forests and the view makes you feel insignificant compared to nature's grandeur. But to me, Arizona's crown jewel was Sedona. Sedona is said to be a place of spiritual healing, and when you go there, you'll understand why. The reddish color of the mountains is like nothing you've seen before and taking a hike up one of them makes you feel that much closer to God. Anywhere you go in the state you are surrounded by gorgeous views and sprawling sunsets set against cacti, palm trees and big open sky. In the north, you have a totally different view of the state as places such as Flagstaff offer jagged snow-capped mountain peaks that give an awe-inspiring contrast to the rest of the state. The people there will make you feel jealous for not living there, but with good reason.

3. California

California appears as number one on a number of the most beautiful states lists, and I do understand why that is. I did not put it as number one for one simple reason: Los Angeles. I was underwhelmed by the City of Angels, no offense to the people that live there. I found it congested and dirty and not as scenic as I was hoping for. However, much of the state is drop dead gorgeous. Your thirst for nature will be more than quenched there. You want to hike? Go to Yosemite National Park and take in the bold mountain views and the famous El Capitan ridge. You want peace and tranquility? Go check out the massive Redwoods to the north. You want a road trip like you've never seen before? Take highway 101. We took it from California down to Santa Cruz, and just in that short ride, we rode over alongside the cliffs that overlook the Pacific, looked down at Christmas tree farms, and stopped at quaint towns like Half Moon Bay. If you like road trips, you won't want to miss that one. There's also Golden Gate, wine country, the San Francisco Bay area, and much more beauty to take in here.

4. Washington (State)

When I helped my friend moved to Washington, we passed through a lot of gorgeous country on the way there: South Dakota, Wyoming, Oregon, and finally Washington. But the last stop was the most beautiful of them all. The Cascade mountain range invites you into a world of majesty and wonder. It's amazing that people could live there and get used to seeing something so spectacular on a daily basis. Part of the state is home to several apple trees lining the countryside as well, which is also wonderful to take in its own right. The Puget Sound offers a spectacular view of one of the best skylines in America that is Seattle, and as you board the ferry into downtown, you may even catch a jellyfish or two bobbing up and down in the water. Yet, nothing compares to hiking in Mount Rainier National Park. The mountain is the one that can be seen at times in the Seattle skyline, even though it is an hour and a half away from downtown Seattle. The park is filled with several local flowers and wildlife and offers great views from any angle in the park.

5. Wyoming

Wyoming is the place that time forgot. I've been there twice in my life, and I hope to go there again. There is probably more wildlife there than there is people and you feel like you are back in the Wild West. Rodeos and saloons greet you in the small towns, and the wide expanse of sky makes you feel free in the untouched nature. Yellowstone National Park brings you to a world where great rivers brush up against jagged rock, and bison stand boldly next to your car. It's a place that refreshes your soul and restores your faith in the healing power of nature.

Each state in the US has something beautiful to offer, but the ones above just seem to stand out above the rest. Of course this list is subjective, and you may have a different top five. But this is just what I found what stood out to me.

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